A bitter blast of arctic air will bring dangerously cold conditions to the northern Rockies, central and northern plains and upper Midwest this week, with temperatures falling well below zero and wind chills in some places reaching the late -50s to -60s degrees reach the week, according to the FOX Forecast Center.
Freezing temperatures will eventually reach as far south as the Gulf Coast as millions across the region will feel the coldest winter temperatures in several years. Dangerously cold temperatures will then spread to the Great Lakes and Northeast by the weekend, freezing areas after a debilitating winter storm is expected with snowstorms and the potential for widespread power outages.
“High pressure just parked over Canada’s Northwest Territories is sucking up this cold air from the poles in the Arctic and then pushing it all the way down and into the northern Rockies, Dakotas and upper Midwest,” FOX said -Weather forecaster Steve Bender. “A developing center of low pressure over the Great Lakes will then tap into that arctic air and accelerate it down to the southern plains.”
Northern Plains can stay below zero for days
Arctic air began its week-long journey by blowing south from Canada over the weekend, and as early as Monday morning low temperatures in northern Montana were at least -20 or colder – Glasgow had a low forecast of -24 while -16 was expected were in Great Falls. Wind chills were around -35 to -40 degrees.
It’s a sign of the depth of cold air that will soon spread across much of the rest of America’s heartland. Wind chill alerts and watches are already covering much of the upper Midwest:
Forecast highs for Monday in the Northern Plains were barely in the single digits in Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota — Bismarck fell below zero on Saturday night and still isn’t expected to hit zero on Monday — or any day this week.
Bitterly cold temperatures will move south and east for the next few days. On Tuesday, some morning lows in parts of Montana and North Dakota could approach -30 degrees, with Bismarck hitting a low of -15, Pierre, South Dakota falling to -10 — and even Minneapolis falling below zero.
Denver will “only” fall into the mid-20s, but will feel warm compared to what’s coming later in the week.
Temperatures will drop below freezing in much of the Midwest on Wednesday morning, even stretching as far as Texas. In the northern plains, freezing temperatures are as far as 50 degrees away and temperatures are approaching -20 or colder. At such low temperatures, frostbite can occur in as little as 10 minutes.
It’s not just the cold that accompanies the Arctic front, but a period of snow and gusty winds will spread across the Northern Plains Wednesday afternoon and reach as far south as Oklahoma and east to Michigan by early Thursday. Wind gusts of 30 to 55 miles per hour make traveling from Kansas to Wisconsin dangerous.
Wind chills drop to -60 degrees on Thursday
Much of the heartland is in the full icy grip of the Arctic blast Thursday morning, while heavy snow will bury the Great Lakes region.
Morning temperatures will be as cold as -30 degrees in Casper, Wyoming, with -22 likely in Billings, Montana. But sub-zero temperatures will spread far south, with a morning low of -12 forecast for Denver, -10 in Omaha, Nebraska, and even -3 in Salina, Kansas.
Even the inland Pacific Northwest will feel the edge of the Arctic blast, with lows in Boise falling to about 5 degrees and morning temperatures hovering around -10 degrees in Spokane, Washington.
But as cold as these temperatures may appear, the wind chills will border on the absurd for much of the Northern Plains and upper Midwest.
Widespread wind chill readings of -40 to even -60 degrees are likely in Dakotas, Montana and Wyoming, with -30 readings in parts of Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas and even Denver. According to the FOX Forecast Center, nearly 3 million people are expected to experience wind chill levels of -40 or colder on Thursday, with nearly 90 million experiencing sub-zero wind chill.
South goes into the deep freeze
After days of freezing in the Midwest, bitterly cold air will flow south and east Thursday through Friday. This will cause temperatures to plummet from the southern plains to the southeast.
Low temperatures in the teenage and single digits are expected as far south as Oklahoma, Arkansas and Tennessee on Friday morning, while temperatures will remain in the teenage range from central Texas to Georgia, according to the FOX Forecast Center. Dallas-Fort Worth Airport could drop below 10 degrees on Friday.
“Areas like Oklahoma, Arkansas, north Texas and north Louisiana and the Mississippi Delta need to prepare you for the cold as well as possible power outages because the wind gusts will be quite strong, along with the possibility of a freeze,” Bender said.
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The cold will likely be among the coldest readings in at least five years for many areas east of the Mississippi River, and wind chill alerts may be required as far north as the Gulf Coast.
Several southern locations may not emerge from the teens or 20s on Friday, setting records for lowest high temperatures.
https://nypost.com/2022/12/20/wind-chills-as-low-as-40-to-60-as-dangerous-blast-of-arctic-air-to-tighten-its-grip-on-large-part-of-u-s/ Wind chills from -40 to -60 as dangerous arctic air blast to tighten grip on much of US